Healthy eating is important for a healthy body, which is why most of us aim to improve our diets. But many of the foods that we eat can also affect our teeth. Especially for patients with thinning enamel or sensitivity issues, it may be a good idea to limit foods that are very acidic. Below are some foods with a high acid content:

1. Tomatoes-Acidic by nature, they also trigger acidic reactions in the body.
2. Lemons-Most people do not eat lemons alone, but the juice may be hiding in salad dressings and other foods.
3. Pickles-Like most cured foods, they are preserved in vinegar.
4. Wine-Not only are the tannins acidic, but red wine can stain your pearly whites.
5. Coffee-Not only a very staining beverage, but also quite acidic.
6. Sweeteners-This includes natural sweeteners like sugar and honey along with artificial ones like aspartame.
7. Fruit-Especially cherries and citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges.
8. Carbonated beverages-This includes sodas (even diet) and seltzer.

While you may not eliminate these foods from your diet, it may be possible to limit their effects. For example, alternate glasses of wine and water. Or, try pairing acidic foods with more alkaline counterparts (see below). Don’t forget to be good to your health and your smile!

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Have you ever noticed a white coating on the surface on your tongue? If so, then you may be suffering from halitosis (bad breath). The white tongue coating is a result of bacteria, debris, and dead cells getting stuck between the inflamed papillae (finger like projections) on the surface of your tongue.
Papillae inflammation is caused by:

Poor oral hygiene.
Dry mouth.
Dehydration.
Congenital heart disease.
Smoking or tobacco use.
Alcohol.
Mouth Breathing.
Fever.

In addition to brushing your tongue, I highly recommend using a tongue scraper. They can be found in almost any store where toothbrushes or toothpaste are sold. Try it and see the difference!

Do-it-yourself projects can be fun. After an afternoon watching HGTV, who wouldn’t be inspired to reface their cabinets or repaint a guest room? But DIY projects should never extend to medical and dental procedures. Occasionally, patients will come into my office after treating themselves. The results are never good and the consequences can be very harmful. Here are some of the most common DIY mistakes that patients make:
Denture adjustment-Dentists use a special paste to mark high spots. We can’t tell just by looking at the denture and neither can you.
Filing a sharp tooth-When a dentist adjusts your tooth, the handpiece sprays water to prevent overheating of the tooth. Your Dremel is not equipped with a water spray and shouldn’t be used inside the mouth.
Denture repair-Yes, Superglue will temporarily hold the pieces together, but positioning the broken parts is more difficult than you think. The residue can also be difficult to remove so that a professional repair can be done. Plus, the toxic ingredients are probably not healthy to ingest.
Cementing a crown or bridge-Again, Superglue probably seems like the best at-home choice. The problem is positioning the crown/ bridge correctly. And, the toxic adhesive cannot be good to swallow.
Draining an abscess-Always call your dentist when you see swelling. Poking at an abscess with a needle or sharp object can introduce harmful bacteria. Once swelling starts it can quickly spread, so you must call a professional ASAP. Don’t try to manage this situation at home.
Save your DIY talent for your next home or craft project. Your dentist has spent many years training to handle these situations and we will be more than happy to help you!
DIY-Dentistry

September 1 marks the end of our in-office raffle for 2 free Sonicare toothbrushes, complete with travel kits! Thanks to all who entered and supported our contest! If you did not win, look for other future contests that will be posted either online or in-office. Good Luck next time!

Night guards can provide tremendous benefits for many people. However, not everyone understands exactly what a night guard is or how it works. Basically, a night guard acts as a buffer which helps to avoid tooth-to-tooth contact. Contrary to popular belief, the guard does not stop you from grinding your teeth. Instead, it acts as a cushion to protect the bone, joints, muscles, teeth and restorations (i.e. crowns, implants, etc). And, since biting forces can range from 45-550 psi, the pressure can be substantial!

So, who needs a night guard? According to experts, there is a reason to believe that at some level all people have some sort of nighttime parafunctional habit. But, many of my patients object to this and say that they do not grind. The reality is that grinding or clenching can be very difficult to diagnose. Many patients are unaware of this habit and do not exhibit any signs of grinding such as muscle tenderness.

The Bottom Line: Wearing a night guard is not about being a grinder, but is more about protecting you from the possibility!

Did you know that you use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth? Over the course of time, that can really add up! So next time you’re brushing, try turning the water off after you’ve wet your brush. Turn the water back on when you’re ready to rinse. Or, install an infrared sensor that works automatically. Use the water you for drinking instead. You can refill an 8-oz glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda. Implementing these simple techniques is not only good for the environment, but good for your wallet as well!

Test your dental IQ with this short quiz. Good luck!

1. How many primary (baby) teeth are there?

A) 10 B) 18 C) 20 D) 24

2. How many permanent teeth are there?

A) 20 B) 24 C) 30 D) 32

3. The 6 month recall interval was invented during a dental convention in Boston, MA. T/F

4. Which permanent tooth does NOT replace a primary tooth?

A) first molar B) second premolar C) canine D) lateral incisor

5. Which tooth is most likely to decay?

A) first molar B) first premolar C) lateral incisor D) central incisor

6. Which tooth has the longest crown (visible part)?

A) upper second molar B) lower first molar C) upper premolar D) upper central incisor

7. What is NOT a common tongue condition?

A) hairy tongue B) geographic tongue C) peculiar tongue

8. Which is the first tooth that a child is expected to lose?

A) lower incisor B) upper canine C) lower molar D) upper molar

9. Before toothbrushes, people cleaned their teeth with_______.

A) twigs B) bird feathers C) porcupine quills D) all of these

10. Who founded the first US dental school?

A) John M. Harris B) Mayan rulers C) Sean P. Murphy D) C. S. Lewis

Answers: 1-C, 2-D, 3-F, 4-A, 5-A, 6-D, 7-C, 8-A, 9-D, 10-A

Did you know that most people are unaware of the fact that they have bad breath. Recent studies have estimated that 50% of the American population actually suffer from halitosis (bad breath).
Below is a list of tests that you can utilize to assess the odor of your breath:
Ask someone you trust. Requesting someone to evaluate your breath is the easiest and quickest way to asses your breath odor.
Lick your wrist. Allow the saliva to dry, then smell your wrist. If you smell a foul odor, then it is likely that you suffer from bad breath.
Use gauze. Rub the piece of gauze on to your tongue then smell the gauze. Also check the gauze for yellow or discolored debris.
Check for coating on your tongue that is white or yellow.
Floss between the furthest back molars in your teeth. The odor of the floss will likely determine the odor of your breath.
If you would like a personalized consultation come visit the Northeast Dental Team!

Most of my patients understand that poor oral hygiene may lead to cavities, but are not aware of the more serious health consequences. Many recent studies have found links between oral health and overall health.

Below is a list of disease that are associated with poor oral health:

  • Oral Health and Diabetes.
  • Oral Health and Heart Disease.
  • Gum Disease and Pregnancy Complications.
  • Gum Disease and Pneumonia.
  • Gum Disease and Pancreatic Cancer.

It is important to visit the Northeast Dental Team every 6 months for a routine checkup and cleaning!